McDonald’s November restaurant sales beat expectations

CHICAGO,  Mon Dec 10, 2012 — McDonald’s Corp. reported on Monday a stronger-than-expected 2.4 percent rise in November sales at established restaurants, helped by demand for breakfast in the United States and lower-priced offerings in Europe.

Analysts on average had expected a 0.17 percent rise in sales at restaurants open at least 13 months, according to Consensus Metrix.

The results mark a rebound for the world’s largest restaurant company, which in October had its first monthly same-restaurant sales decline in nine years.

But the chain known for its french fries and Big Macs still has some way to go to return to the sales increases it saw earlier this year. Same-restaurant sales rose 7.3 percent in the first quarter and 3.7 percent in the second quarter.

McDonald’s has seen a softening of business in the United States, its second-largest market for sales, as revived rivals like Wendy’s Co. and Burger King Worldwide Inc. cranked out tempting new premium and value products.

One week after the company announced disappointing October sales, it replaced the president of its U.S. business, Jan Fields. Jeff Stratton, who had been the company’s global restaurant officer, took over effective Dec. 1.

U.S. sales at established restaurants rose 2.5 percent in November, with sandwiches with cheddar, bacon and onions helping to attract customers, the company said. Analysts on average expected sales to fall 0.59 percent in the United States.

Same-restaurant sales rose 1.4 percent in Europe, McDonald’s biggest market, compared with expectations for a 0.1 percent increase.

Lockheed Martin raises forecast, earnings beat view again

BETHESDA, Md., Wed Oct 24, 2012 – Lockheed Martin Corp., the largest U.S. weapons maker, on Wednesday posted an 11 percent increase in third-quarter earnings, beating expectations by a wide margin, and raised its full-year forecast.

Lockheed warned that revenues would ease slightly in 2013, pulled lower by a mid-single-digit decline in sales at its information systems and global solutions business.

It raised its 2012 earnings forecast to a range of $8.20 to $8.40 from a range of $7.90 to $8.10.

It said business segment operating profit would remain above 11 percent next year.

Lockheed, which receives more than 80 percent of its revenue from the U.S. government, said its preliminary 2013 forecast assumed that Congress and the White House would avert additional defense cuts that are due to take effect next year.

If the cuts go into effect, the company said they would have a material effect on its results.

Net earnings per share rose 11 percent to $2.21 in the third quarter, from $1.99 in the year-earlier period, but they fell from $2.38 in the second quarter.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S expected third-quarter earnings per share of $1.85 on revenues of $11.17 billion.

Lockheed, which builds F-35 and F-16 fighter jets, Aegis missiles and new coastal or littoral warships, said revenues dropped 2 percent to $11.87 billion in the third quarter ended Sept. 30, from $12.1 billion in the third quarter of 2011.